Bahrain detains rights activist over 'abusive' tweets

Bahrain detains rights activist over 'abusive' tweets

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 6:36 pm

Nabeel Rajab: detained

Nabeel Rajab: detained

A Bahrain court ordered prominent activist Nabeel Rajab kept behind bars on Wednesday as it adjourned his trial over remarks posted on Twitter deemed insulting to public institutions.

Rajab appeared in the Manama court, where the judge set a new hearing for Sunday, activists said.

Rajab, a member of Bahrain’s Shiite majority, which has been protesting against the Gulf kingdom’s Sunni rulers since 2011, was arrested on October 1 after posting comments on Twitter about the interior and defence ministries.

In one of the tweets that were deemed offensive, Rajab charged that many of the Bahrainis fighting with jihadists in Syria were former security force personnel who had developed Sunni extremist views during their service.

“Many #Bahrain men who joined #terrorism & #ISIS came from security institutions and those institutions were the first ideological incubator,” he wrote, using one acronym for the Islamic State jihadist group.

Advocacy groups have called for the release of Rajab, who heads the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.

He was freed in May after serving two years in jail for taking part in unauthorised protests.

Rajab had led anti-government marches following a bloody crackdown on Shiite-led demonstrations against the Al-Khalifa ruling family in March 2011.

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